In honor of the International Day of Peace, Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth, Ivanhoé Cambridge, Sid Lee Architecture and MASSIVart unveiled the newly redesigned Suite 1742, where John Lennon and Yoko Ono held their “Bed-in for Peace” in 1969.
Preserving the historical character of Suite 1742 was a key goal of the hotel’s recent transformation by owner Ivanhoé Cambridge.
The concept for the redesign, developed by Sid Lee Architecture, centered on placing the furniture the same way Lennon and Ono did for the bed-in—bed against the main window, creating an open central space. Reproductions of the famous handwritten “Hair Peace” and “Bed Peace” cutouts were put on the windows again. The words to the song “Give Peace a Chance,” which Lennon and Ono recorded in the suite, are inscribed repeatedly on the white walls.
Instead of recreating the hotel’s period decor, the designer drew inspiration from places the couple had lived in or visited, including London, New York, Tokyo and New Delhi.
One of the suite’s most distinctive features is the incorporation of artworks, interactive pieces and multimedia installations designed and produced by MASSIVart. They include an archival cabinet containing photos, videos and historical items, including a Give Peace a Chance vinyl record.
Another unique feature is the immersive experience delivered by virtual-reality headsets placed on the nightstands, which allow users to “sense the unique energy of the bed-in from the point of view of John or Yoko.
To complement the unveiling of the suite, Sid Lee Collective and MASSIVart invited Montrealers to gather at the Place Ville Marie Esplanade for the largest, outdoor bed-in held in North America as well as the exhibition, Posters for Peace, featuring art created in tribute to the original bed-in.
The exhibition includes works by 40 artists from around the world, printed on sheets placed on the beds arranged along the Esplanade. Proceeds from the sale of reproductions of the works will go to Amnesty International.